Unconventional Wellness Radio

Episode #44: Jill Winger of The Prairie Homestead (Part 2)

Unconventional Wellness Radio
Episode #44: Jill Winger of The Prairie Homestead (Part 2)
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Enjoy Part 2!

Shownotes for this Podcast episode:

Frank: (00:00)
Hey guys, how are you? Happy belated veteran's day. I myself, I had a great time being able to celebrate veteran's day with my family. We did a really cool observance and had a great veteran's day dinner yesterday, so a lot of fun. Um, what I'm most especially proud of his a family all chipped in. My daughter was serving the veterans of Vietnam and world war II and I tell you what, I was just a really great night. Anyway, it's a episode. Gosh, I think 44 and the most important thing is that it's part two of my conversation with Jill winger of the Prairie homestead. I really had a lot of fun doing this interview and I want to let you folks know that next week I will be taking a quick break on my podcast for one week and I will bring you the next episode during Thanksgiving holiday week. 

Frank: (00:53)
The reason being is because I'd be heading out to Austin, Texas to go interact with a lot of really great veterans and farmers at the national farmer veteran coalition conference that is going to be held in Austin, Texas. It's a great time to be able to speak with other veterans and what they're doing in farming. Be able to get a lot of really great resources. And really the biggest thing is just to be able to network with other individuals who are doing exactly the same thing that we are here on our farm. So enjoy part two of my conversation with Joe winger and we will catch you guys in a couple of weeks on another podcast and it'll be coming to you very, very soon. Talk soon. 

Speaker 2: (01:35)
Hey everyone, and welcome to unconventional wellness, radio, powerful and inspiring podcast, such a revolutionize and disrupt healthcare. It's time to put you in the driver's seat and be the force of change necessary for the lifestyle you've always wanted. 

Frank: (01:49)
And now if I could shift gears a little bit, um, because of the fact that you know, folks that listen to this podcast, what we tried to do is of course we try to focus on the a, the five pillars of unconventional wellness. Um, so what I'm going to do is kind of transitioned into over the course of your time growing in the agricultural understanding of homesteading that you guys have. It probably has woke you up to saying, um, since we're moving more traditionally now and we're doing things with, um, you know, just an understanding of sort of heritage and, and bringing up our kids that way and all that kind of stuff. Where did the transition of, now that I'm going to homestead, I want to homestead in such a way that's going to be beneficial and healthy for my family. Do you know whereabouts that started in your homesteading journey? 

Jill: (02:38)
Yeah. Let me think when that was that the chicken or the egg, which came first. So I think it was after, I think the homestead came first because I remember when we first bought our property or we were in the process of purchasing it, I was actually not only not paying attention to my health or eating right or exercising, I was actually belligerent about it, but I would make fun of people who were, Oh, you want organic celery? Okay. Whatever. And like I would make fun of green things and recycling. Um, so I was actually kind of a jerk, but when I got into the whole setting idea and I'm like, I want goats and compost piles, I think, I think what happened next is I started reading blogs. I was reading different natural homemaker blogs because YouTube really wasn't a thing back then or what weren't really podcasts. 

Jill: (03:30)
And so they were talking about you know, how to cook with different sweeteners and how do you know why you shouldn't use Crisco and coconut oil and all these no butter. And I'm like, mind blown. This is new. And I really started to dig in deep and I, you know, of course we all started, many of us with nourishing traditions, that whole thing and kind of went on that route. So that team, I'd say almost in tandem with the homesteading vision, maybe a little bit afterwards, but then not, you know, it, it works well together. Eating better because you're growing whole foods. You have to figure out how to cook them and then wanting to clean out all the toxins in our bath products. And our laundry detergent and all that. So it was kind of a domino effect. 

Frank: (04:10)
Oh, that's so good. Okay. So then, since we're already kind of naturally going off of food and we know that, you know, nutrition is like crucially important and foundational for improving your health. Can you tell me like, how about like three different ways that you guys personally started implementing a different way of not only eating but also maybe some cooking tips about how you were able to create, uh, just a, an understanding of wellness in your home? 

Jill: (04:41)
Sure. So I'd say with the food realm, which is one of my favorite things to talk about, three things we do, let me think. Okay. So number one, we got rid of the fats, bad fats, not all the fat, sorry, let me rephrase that. We got rid of the bad fats, good fats. So things like margarine, Crisco and vegetable oils were gone and we replaced them with things like butter, coconut oil and lard. Like lard is magical. So that was a big one. Um, I stopped buying a lot of canned and boxed things. So like cream of mushroom soup was out a boxes of pudding and jello were out. Uh, cool whip was out. And I replaced those with homemade options, which are not as complicated as you might think. And then I think the third thing would be I just started making more of our bread products, whether it's pie CROs or biscuits or things like that from scratch. So I would just use simple ingredients to make those instead of buying the, you know, pop and fresh biscuits or the, the refrigerated pie crusts and so on, that not only don't taste that great, but they really have a lot of junk in there. 

Frank: (05:55)
Well, yeah, because you know, we, we, you would probably echo what I'm saying here is that like, you know, you flip those things over and you're paying for convenience, but the problem is, is that a lot of your dollars are going toward preservatives and they have to keep things shelf stable. And so you flip it over and it's kind of like 20 ingredients where I'm pretty certain that like your pie crust probably has like what, four or five ingredients. 

Jill: (06:18)
Totally. Absolutely. Yeah. The preservatives, you know, they have to do it right. Like we bashed them Oh there. So these horrible companies will, they're, they're trying to make to their food doesn't spoil. But unfortunately a lot of those preservatives and things that make it taste better and keep it from spoiling her body bodies don't really love. So it's a catch 22. 

Frank: (06:35)
It really is. Those things that you often flip over and look at on the other side of a, you know, an ingredient package, if you can't pronounce them, your body probably doesn't understand what they even are. And so it just automatically converts those things in the fat guys. Um, so it is like the fat is like the most stable thing that you can have in your body. It's like if your body doesn't recognize what it is, Oh let me just turn it into fat cause we think it's food and we probably could use it one day, but let's just turn it into fat because that's nice. That's nice and safe. Um, but okay, so, so moving on then from tradition cause I want to definitely circle back around and really expand on that whole heritage cooking concept that you've created. Um, let's move on into like, you know, besides the fact that like not all, not all homesteaders, thank like, let me just hurry up and we're going to move in and like exercise a movement being our second pillar that we're going to talk about. But you know, there is a lot of hard work on a farm and this is true, but is there please help me demystify this myth is that homesteaders are in like incredible shape because they exercise a lot. Would you agree with that? 

Jill: (07:40)
Yeah, that is that, that is a myth on the can on occasion. So, um, I found when, and this is kind of tricky with my career, it's kind of a double edge sword. So back in the day when all I had to do, I had one child and I wasn't homeschooling yet because she was a baby and I didn't have a blog. And so literally all I had to do to occupy myself was running around the yard all day and piddle with the flowers and the vegetables. Um, it was easier for me to be more active, but I actually struggle now, even with all the homestead jobs we have to do. Sometimes I still struggle to be as active as I would like to be, um, because we're homeschooling in the morning. And then I find that I end up working at my desk in the afternoon. And so sometimes I still am like, man, it's, you know, five 30 in the app in the evening and I have sat all day long and I need to move my body. Um, so it's for sure. Yeah, it depends on what you're doing, but home setting doesn't necessarily give you every single bit of physical activity you need. Sometimes you have to be a little bit creative and adding that in. 

Frank: (08:46)
Okay. So what are like two or three things that you have done in the past or that you're maybe currently doing now that has kept you active physically? 

Jill: (08:54)
Yeah. So we actually, 

Frank: (08:56)
um, I don't know, a lot of people know this. I don't really talk about it. I don't really have a reason to talk about it. Um, online. But we've had that, we built a gym in our shop, um, because especially we have long winters here and they're dark and town is a long ways away. So there would be times, you know, it's snowing outside and I'm not going to go out, there's not a lot of chores to do that I'm going to be spending, you know, four hours out there doing something cause it's freezing and it would be dark in the evenings. And I'm like I've got to move cause I'm like feeling antsy and I've been sitting all day and so we have some treadmill or a treadmill and a few pieces of equipment and some weights. So I'll go do that sometimes. Um, my preference of course is cause I'm a very efficient person. 

Frank: (09:37)
I like to do physical act activity and get a job done. So if I have a preference, I'm going to pick stacking firewood over running on a treadmill or I'm cleaning out a pin and you know, it needs a deep clean with a Pitchfork. I'm going to pick that over lifting weights. But sometimes that doesn't always work out with scheduling. So you gotta make sure you fill in those gaps. Yeah, totally. And, and most of what's really funny is that, like, I, I kind of giggle when I say this is that like, you know, so many CrossFit moves are literally appropriately fulfilled when you form. You know what I mean? Like there's one CrossFit modem in particular, it's called the farmer's carry and you literally just take a dumbbell or kettlebells or whatever and you put them next to you and you carry them for a distance. 

Frank: (10:23)
Yes. The strike me, strike me as if you've never done that before. Yeah, exactly. You know, so, so guys get creative. The most important things are, you know, what I've talked about on previous episodes are, you know, your functional movements I think is what gel is describing. Is that like, it's nice to be able to functionally move, but you know, you do have to still get decent exercise and movement available during your day. So you gotta get creative. You know, we're not w we don't have the opportunity, at least I know that I don't, you know, gel does it. Christian doesn't. Jackie doesn't to go to a gym, we can't spend two, three hours with going to a gym, going to work out and then coming home from the gym and all the other things in between. And so just get creative and be able to move on even a farm, you know what I mean? 

Frank: (11:11)
Because you can even still be out of shape if you're a farmer. Very, very possible. So, um, alright, so let's, let's move on then to stuff that's going to be a little bit more in what I know is definitely going to be more of your wheelhouse. Let's talk about toxins, right? So like how did now that you were shaping your food and your movement, you know, when did you start thinking about like, what am I using in my home to clean up? What am I using a cook with? What am I using too? I mean, just using our in and around our bodies. When did that start happening? If you wouldn't mind just kind of explain that a little bit as well. 

Jill: (11:44)
Yeah, I think that happened once I kinda got in the groove with my food stuff, then I started to look at, wow, this house, you know, the spray cleaner I'm buying is really crappy ingredients or this shampoo I'm using is not great. So we started to kind of shift our sights over there. Um, the, I guess the good slash bad news back then we were on a super strict budget, so I was forced to be frugal and I kind of saw it as a challenge. And so thankfully when you make a lot of your own ingredient or a lot of your products, rather, it's cheaper for the most part. So I started experimenting with lots of homemade things. Um, you know, I did the whole vinegar, no poo shampoo stuff. That was not my favorite. Um, but no, I did shampoo bars and homemade laundry detergent and homemade based creams and homemade cleaners. 

Jill: (12:34)
And so no, I found that was really, um, really enjoyable. And then I eventually came across essential oils. And so essential oils were a way that I could add a little more pep into some of these recipes. They smelled better, they had a little more cleaning power. And now fast forward to today, I still make a lot of my own cleaners. Um, sometimes I just using natural products with central oils infused into them and I just go with those. But yeah, that definitely was kind of like food first and then all the talks and stuff came right after that. 

Frank: (13:04)
Gotcha. And now you're also like, you even taking it one step further and of course you're using different types of natural remedies around the farm itself, right? Like inside of like your coops and you do stuff with your animals and all that sort of stuff as well. Right? 

Jill: (13:18)
Absolutely. We use essential oils on the animals. I have a fly spray cause like why sprays contains some pretty rough chemicals. And so we do a essential oil fly spray. And I had a horse who cut her foot a couple of weeks ago. So we used Melaleuca oil on that. So they definitely have, um, gravitated out of the house and into the barnyard and the Garvey. 

Frank: (13:37)
Yeah, I mean, and what's funny guys is that like these sorts of things like, you know, if you don't know what essential oils are, um, it's really just the [inaudible] to kind of give you a very quick five second reason for essential oils is that they're the things that plants make in order to protect themselves. And so we've realized that there is very good therapeutic benefits of using, um, these essential oils as well. And so, um, I, I would much rather use something that has like just orange essential oil in it. Then I went to go grab an old school conventional bottle of whatever to clean one of my surfaces in my kitchen that has another 23 ingredients in it. I mean that I have no idea what some of the things that are inside of these products actually are, let alone be able to pronounce them. 

Frank: (14:20)
And so, um, I, it's really nice when it's water vinegar and maybe some essential oil that's orange, you know, it just makes so much of a better difference guys. And I didn't want to get into the science of it, but it can be just as convenient not only to use those things, but also it's so much more natural and it actually does in fact help eradicate a lot of the things that are on these surfaces as well. So, um, awesome. Well, what about Alice with like, you know, um, different types of toxins you've come across with like, you know, like let's dive more so into like water and like maybe like what are some of the ways that you're able to protect yourself against like some of these issues with water? Like what about your farm? Like is there any kind of like, you know, chemicals or anything like that that you avoid with raising these animals? Like how have you started making swaps? Are those things as well? And have you become more of like a holistic, natural farmer? 

Jill: (15:16)
Hm. Um, so thankfully we have, well, water water is pretty good. If we lived in town, I would definitely use a Berkey or something like that. But we don't have chlorine, thankfully in our water. So that's a relief. Um, as far as our animals go, you know, like the fly's phrase, that's a big one. I use homemade utter bomb on my cows and goats, so we don't have petroleum based products on them. Um, we do still use some conventional dewormers just because we have a very large herd and we haven't been able to experiment yet with a deal. That was kind of a process. You have to kind of go with what parasites you have in your area and you have to fecals. And so it's kind of a, a process. But um, yeah, we definitely try to keep, we'd go grass fed as much as possible or will actually almost a hundred percent with our milk cows and our beef cattle. The exception would be every once in a while if a milk cow was getting a little skinny, I'll give her some grain. But other than that, it's, it's grass fed. It's simple. I like to give them some kelp out in their mineral feeder and just keep it really easy. 

Frank: (16:22)
And it's actually funny how much more simplified life is as an a gentleman with like, yeah, it just makes it so much easier. It's like, you know, when I, when I deal with so many chemicals, it's like what's going to cross with what and then, Oh by the way, is this going to cause a side effect that needs to be taken care of with this new chemical? Right. Like all that kind of stuff. It's like I get too confused. And so when I simplify things, not only am I saving money, but it's also like, it makes it easier for me to be able to, to focus on what I feel like truly matters. 

Jill: (16:51)
Yeah. 

Frank: (16:53)
So how's everybody sleeping in the house? Because that's obviously important. You know, we've been talking about all these really wonderful tips and stuff like that to remove, uh, you know, toxins and to be able to eat really good nourishing food. Like how's everybody sleeping and what are some of your tricks to help people get sound sleep with you? Having, you know, a family of five. My how's that all 

Jill: (17:12)
working out for you? Yeah, we did pretty good on sleep. I'd say, um, we, the biggest thing for us is we, I'm pretty routine driven. Like I kind of was boring like that. It has to I think have to be on a schedule. So, you know, the kids were pretty religious about they go to bed at the same time, they get up at the same time and I try to be pretty careful with myself as well. Like, um, there are times I do push my own boundaries of okay Dell you need to turn off the TV or the phone or whatever and go to bed. Um, but most of the time I'm like, no, we're going to bed, you know, getting in bed by 10. We have my little shutdown rituals. Um, I've found that of course it's always better for my brain to not be on my phone right before bed and read a book instead and not do the screen time. So that definitely helps. I think for me when I, whenever I find that I am struggling with sleep, it's usually related to not getting enough physical movement. So if I find that I've been like up and down in the, in the nighttime and our, I'm tossing and turning the next day, I just really try to get outside, get some fresh air, move my body. Um, and that's the biggest one for me. 

Frank: (18:18)
Do you see what she was just able to do guys? Do you notice how um, just rolled out of her tongue, rolled off of the tip of her tongue that she said if she's feeling like she doesn't get adequate sleep, that maybe she needs to actually focus on movement more. Do you under, are you, I hope you guys are getting the fact that these are all intertwined and they're all just as important. Um, you know, by, by convention, if we only focus on one or two of these pillars, we're not going to be able to understand the whole picture. And so, you know, Joe gets it and Jill realizes starting to come into her own and be able to say like, well, if I feel like I'm lacking here, then maybe it's because I'm not focusing on this as well. And so I really appreciate you actually saying that Joe, that actually is, that's actually such a wonderful tip guys is that like you've got to look at kind of all of them. 

Frank: (19:05)
You know, you have to be a Jack of all trades when it comes to this or a Jill of all trades. You've got to be able to do that. So, and then lastly, let's close things out with like, you know, stress and anxiety. I mean like I can only imagine with trying to homestead and then traveling and doing the things that you do with your business. Um, what are some of the like two or three past ways that you've been able to sort of mitigate that stress and anxiousness and not let it over overcome you? 

Jill: (19:30)
Yeah. So, um, number, well, just to go back to our previous point, when I'm tired, everything stresses me out more. Like, it'll be later at night and I'll be like having a meltdown. I'm like, this is, everything's bad. Everything's horrible. It's all falling apart. And then I magically go to bed and it doesn't, all the anxiety just doesn't exist this morning. So I'm like, Oh, that was tired of the odds. So that's a big one. I know when I get burned out then I don't create as well. I don't show up in my businesses as, but I don't show up as good as a mom. So, um, rest is really important. We try to take off Sundays, like so for example, this last Sunday I did absolutely nothing. Like I literally sat in a pile and I forced myself to sit in a pile. Even though I had this urge to like get up and do something, I'm like, Nope, you're going to read a book, you're going to chill. 

Jill: (20:20)
You're going to just do things that relax you. And you know, Monday came around and I was ready to roll. So rest is really important to deal with stress and anxiety. Beyond that I think, and this is like do as I say, not as I do because people laugh at me who know me well cause I'm not really good at this, like not taking on too much and knowing when to say no. Um, usually when I'm in a rage tantrum and Christian seeing me like freaking out all this stuff I have to do, it's because I am trying to please other people and I'm, I said yes too much in an effort to keep everyone happy, so saying no keeping things to a minimum and um, I also hire help and that's one that I feel like, um, a lot of homesteaders are surprised to learn or there's a little, sometimes there's a little pushback when I say that, but I hire help in my business. I hire help in my house and I could not do what I do if I was literally trying to be super woman cause I'm not super woman and I need a support team. So that really makes a huge difference for me. 

Frank: (21:21)
Yup. I think community, you know, surrounding yourself with both professional and personal community is really, really important. Um, so thank you so much. I mean like that was also like good. I hope you guys took notes on all of that stuff because as you can see, every one of us can put these things into practice. And what's really cool is that like we're all unique in our approach and so you got to figure out what works for you. You know, if you are somebody who wants to go and spend three hours at a gym, then by all means do it. If that's what makes you happy. So this is just a matter of you got to find out you and then like you've heard that cliche. You do. You and I really think that that's immensely important. And so, um, Jill, I just, I am like just overwhelmed. 

Frank: (22:03)
I really appreciate you taking the time and explaining all these things to us. And um, we are just so excited about, um, being able to share this information because guys, we're, we may be walking this, but it helps us walk it even better because we're able to share it with others. And, uh, and, and I said I was gonna start our, excuse me, I was going to circle back so I didn't forget about it, but why don't you tell me a little bit about this movement that you have now with heritage cooking and how you're empowering people on how to be able to start doing that again for themselves. I absolutely love this guy. So Joel, please, please enlighten us. 

Jill: (22:42)
Yes. So it all goes back to when I started to improve our diets and I, you know, got rid of the bad fats and I started cooking from scratch and it was this process and as I got better at it, I have a lot of mistakes, a lot of mess ups in the love learning curves. But as I got into a groove and I got more comfortable with it, I started to realize how happy it made me, not just the food tasted good, which it did. I made my family happy and we were feeling healthier cause we were getting rid of junk in our bodies. But it made me feel so fulfilled to be creating things with my hands. And I started to realize like I wasn't the only one and humans have this intense need to create and a wonderful way to create is in the kitchen because we got to eat anyway and there's a lot of benefits to from scratch foods you don't, it makes us feel connected to our families. 

Jill: (23:35)
It feeds our family's healthier food. And so I started this idea of expanding this idea of heritage cooking because everybody likes to wax about how grandma cooked or how great out Wanda cooked. But then I would hear people talk about it and they're like acting like it was this extinct concept. And I'm like, wait a second. Yeah, grandma might've had good pie crust. You can have good bite cross too. So let's stop acting like it's this thing that belongs in a museum. And so the heritage cooking concept is literally just taking these time honored kitchen skills like canning and making your own bread and fermenting foods and teaching modern folks how to do that with their busy schedules, with their modern kitchens because it's not near as hard as a lot of people think. 

Frank: (24:26)
Now you, um, correct me, correct me if I'm wrong, but have you not created a course that uh, that surrounds heritage cooking in some of these concepts that you just talked about? 

Jill: (24:35)
Yes. So we, I launched the cookbook this spring and we created a course, a video course around it, cause I knew a lot of people wanted to see the recipes being created or see the techniques, not just read about them. So yeah, it's called the heritage cooking crash course. And you can literally watch me make the pie crust Chan that vegetables, do the things in the kitchen and get all the little tips in the process. 

Frank: (24:57)
And if I was excited enough to like, cause I am excited enough, where would I actually go find that? At. 

Jill: (25:02)
So you would just go to heritage cooking class.com and you can get the scoop on that there 

Frank: (25:08)
and we'll make sure that we actually put a link guys in this podcast. That way you can click on that and go get yourself started with heritage cooking because, um, I love how you brought up the fact that there is such a wonderful social aspect to it. I mean, it really is a matter of a family or significant others or whatever. Um, one of the diets that I truly love is the Mediterranean diet because the, there's such a focus on the social aspect of food. Um, it's not something that we were intended to eat inside of a cubicle by ourselves. You know what I mean? We get so much more important for us to be able to share it with those that we love and those that we really appreciate in our lives. And so, um, please go check out Jill's a heritage, a cooking course because it is definitely something that we really, really need. It meets such a wonderful need that we have. And once again, if you are interested in all of the recipes that Joel has put together regarding all of the different things that she does on her homestead, that once again is the Prairie homestead cookbook and it is simple recipes for heritage cooking in any kitchen. And so please go check that out. Go to Amazon, go to our website. You can pick up a copy of the book, uh, either one of those places I think 

Speaker 4: (26:22)
and Barnes and noble now too, aren't you? Is that just like everywhere the book is easily available everywhere. Yep. Anywhere books are sold, you should be able to find it. Yeah, there you go. So please go get a copy of that as well and absolutely. At the very least, uh, as soon as you are done listening to this podcast, go check out her website, the Prairie homestead.com and you weren't going to be extraordinarily happy with how you follow website. It is and it has some, all of her musings and all of her blogs over the years and a, and you won't be inspired. I'm just looking at all of the work that Joe has done. And so Joe, I don't think I've forgotten anything that I good. No, I think you did good. She is my, she's my friend folks. And so that's why I wanted to make sure that I sing her praises because she absolutely deserves every single one of them. 

Speaker 4: (27:09)
She is such an inspirational person. Her and her family are just so fantastic and we're so grateful to know you guys. And uh, we just, we, we wish you nothing but continued success and for you to be able to touch as many lives as you already have through the medium of technology and being able to have them in your home literally because of our wonderful methods of smart phones or computers and all this other stuff that we can see you peel the layers back and be as transparent as you are. Absolutely. My pleasure. And same to you and Jackie because you guys are doing some big fun things too. So [inaudible] we're trying to do what we can. So you know, uh, like, like, uh, like helps. Like, so that's what this entire thing is about. So like I said, guys, go check her out. Joe winger, uh, her and Christian will absolutely inspire you guys. 

Speaker 4: (27:56)
And so, Jo, I just, as I started off, I want to finish it the same way. I'm so grateful that you took some time out of your busy schedule to be able to join me on today's podcast and I really, really, really appreciate it. You are so welcome. It's my pleasure. All right, y'all take care. And like I said, go check that stuff out and just stop what you're doing and make sure that you go check out gel in the very top step. So until then, we will catch you again on another episode of [inaudible]. I can bet you on this radio on Frank and we will talk to you guys very soon. Thank you so much.


Brought to you by Frank Ritz of Unconventional Wellness Radio